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Eulogies, Poems and Funeral Readings

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Published 21/09/2020
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Sometimes it’s hard to find the words to say when a loved one has passed away. But when it comes to the funeral, those closest to the deceased will often make a reading or recite a poem in their memory. But what should you say? In this blog I will do my best to help you answer this difficult question.

What should you say in a eulogy?

Most people will opt for a eulogy at the funeral. But it is hard to know where to begin. If this is someone who you’ve known and loved for a long time, where do you start? And how can you possibly sum up how you feel about this person in such a short space of time?

The best way to start would be to tell those in attendance just how much the person meant to you. You may find this difficult to put into words. Some people will prepare remarks before the service, whilst others will speak from the heart without anything arranged. This will vary person to person, and it will be quite obvious to you which approach you’d prefer to take.

Many people like to share some funny stories about the person who has passed away. Despite the fact that a funeral is a sombre occasion, it is nice to be able to remember things about the deceased that made you laugh, and maybe some of the quirks that they had. This may help to lighten the mood on what is undoubtedly a difficult day for everyone involved.

The typical way to close a funeral speech or eulogy is by talking about how much they will be missed. Although this may seem too basic for some people – who may wish to get more creative – it is an emotional and effective way of closing the reading and tying it back to the reason for the funeral - to say goodbye to someone who’s going to be dearly missed.
Readings at a funeral
More often than not, funeral readings will be of a religious nature. One of the most popular is Isaiah 57:1-2: “The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, and no one understands that the righteous are taken away to be spared from evil. Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death.”

Some however prefer a reading from standard literature at the funeral, particularly if the deceased wasn’t religious. One popular example for those looking for something a little different is from EB White’s Charlotte’s Web: “You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
Funeral poems
Funeral readings aren’t for everyone. Some people prefer a poem to remember the dead. Again, picking a poem is a daunting task, arguably even more difficult than a reading, as you’ll want to find one that sums up the person who has passed away.

Luckily, funeral-notices.co.uk contains a helpful resource, with 15 pages of poems/verses, which is a good starting point, especially if you’re struggling to find a poem which you think is suitable.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog today, I hope you’ve found it to be useful.

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